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Saturday, December 21, 2013

My memories: Milo

This is actually not my personal memory, but something that had been told to me by my aunt.

When I was around six years old, my aunt's family lived at my house for a while. One morning, my aunt found me sitting at the kitchen table by myself. She asked me if I had wanted something. I replied simply, "Milo."

Now, I had pronounced it as "mai-lo", whereas my aunt's family pronounced it as "mee-lo". Adding to that confusion, in a Chinese dialect, "mai-lo" translates to "nothing".

So my aunt thought I didn't want anything, and she went about her business. She returned to the kitchen later and found me still sitting at the table. This time, I was apparently looking at her expectantly. So she asked me again if I wanted anything, and I replied again, "Milo".

It took my aunt a while to realise that I had requested for the morning beverage! Quickly, she helped me prepare a cup of Milo.

I have no memory of this incident. Perhaps I was too young, or it didn't register as significant enough to be remembered. My aunt has only told me this story once, saying that she had a good laugh over the "loss in translation".


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My memories: fragrance that reminds me of the U.S.

At Plaza Singapura, at the corner of Starbucks opposite Tim Ho Wan, there is a fragrance there that always brings back fond memories for me. It's not a sweet smell or something unique. Instead, it is the smell of the wood from the Starbucks' store.

The first time I smelled it, I was immediately reminded of my time in the U.S. The memories weren't of any place in particular, or of any specific event or person. Instead, it was just a reminder of when I had been an undergraduate in the U.S.

Perhaps it is because it smells of a new place, or a new mall. I certainly had been to a number of malls in my four years there, both old and new. Or maybe it was something from my university, though I don't recall having classes or passing through any new building.

In general, it is just a fragrance that brings back positive memories and feelings for me. So much so that whenever I walk past that corner at Plaza Singapura, I consciously take a deep breath so that I can recall my memories.

So it was quite disappointing that, when I inhaled deeply while walking past there today, the fragrance wasn't as strong as before. Soon, I think that wood smell will be lost, and then I'd need to find another trigger to bring back more pleasant memories.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

My memories: fried chicken and curry vegetables with rice


Every time I smell the scent of Chinese curry vegetables or just see a dish of rice with curry vegetables and fried chicken drumstick, I am transported back immediately to my primary school days.

Normally, in primary school, I wouldn't stay in school for lunch. I'd either eat before school (when I was in the afternoon session) or when I returned home later (when in the morning session). But in Primary 6, every Friday, my class would stay back for remedial lessons. I think it was to cram for the year-end PSLE exams, though I don't remember the actual reason.

What I do remember is that, at lunch time, almost all of us would make a bee-line for the only economic rice stall in the canteen. And it was always for the same dish: white rice with curry vegetables and friend chicken.

The curry vegetables were the best thing I had ever tasted then. Not too spicy that most chilli-mad Singaporeans would crave, but not too mild that it was uninteresting to the tastebuds. And the fried chicken was, well, friend chicken. You can't really go wrong with fried chicken.

But there was one more "trick" to get the ultimate dish. It was to be served by the young girl. No, it wasn't because we young boys had a hormonal crush on her. We would all queue up in one line and hope and pray that when it came to our turn, the young girl would be free, instead of the other older stallholder (whom we thought was her mum).

And if luck was upon us and the young girl served us, then we would be very happy because... she always gave the freshest fried chicken! She'd pick the pieces that had just been freshly fried, so that they would still be crispy and crunchy. If the other stallholder served us, she would pick the pieces of chicken that had been lying out for a while, and these would be softer and somehow, more bland.

To this day, I still remember that dish of economic rice. And I would also smile at the memory of how we preferred being served by the young girl so that the delicious dish was made even more yummy!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Why engineers should aim to be leaders

(This is a personal opinion piece. It does not reflect the views of any organisation that I am affiliated with.)


Engineers should aim to be leaders.
Or more generally, the people who produce the widgets that a company derives its revenue should aim to be the leaders of that company.

That makes sense, doesn't it? If a company's revenue stream depends on the widgets that it produces, then the leaders of that company should be intimately involved in producing those widgets.

Unfortunately, the ones who build the widgets rarely get a table at management. Or if they do, then they are confined to a small corner. Instead, it is common for management to be dominated by sales and marketing people.
I don't discount the importance of sales and marketing's functions. But I think that their importance is over-rated.

Perhaps my experience of working in marketing has made me jaded to marketing. In an era of puff pieces and scam ads, it is easy to dismiss marketing as just a bunch of "hot air".

And as for sales people, well, one only needs to think about car salesmen. They should know how the widgets work and what they can do. But they also think about their own pockets. And what better way to fatten their purse than to promise everything -- and then more!

But engineers know about their widgets. They understand how the widgets work. They know the ins-and-outs. They know what can be done and what can't. And if it can't be done, they know why it can never be done, or they know how to make it get done.

However, engineers don't think the way leaders do. In a profit-driven company, the widgets must produce revenue. That means, the widgets need to have innate qualities that make consumers want to purchase them. But engineers rarely think about monetising their widgets. Instead, they are more concerned with building the next "cool" widget.

That is unlike sales and marketing. Sales have a definite eye to the bottomline, since their pay is usually tied to a commission structure. Marketing are also concerned about revenue, because their performance is based on how they can balance their costs against revenue.

At least in the technology world, only one marketer made it to be a great leader. Steve Jobs was never a widget guy. He may have claimed to be a widget guy, but he really was more interested in selling widgets. But he had an advantage: he knew his widgets, or in some cases, he had a hand in making his widgets.

Many sales and marketing people aim to be like Steve Jobs. But they all fail. They're only interested in selling the widgets. They don't care how the widgets are made, as long as they can sell them. That's why they sit at management. Their efforts translate directly into revenue.

But engineers shouldn't try to be Steve Jobs. That takes a different level of intelligence. I suggest another role model: Bill Gates. Before Microsoft went down its path of self-destruction with "Windows Everywhere", it was a truly remarkable, widget-driven company. And Bill Gates was the engineer who built it. If only he hadn't over-reached by trying to make Windows work everywhere.

A role model for companies is Facebook. This is a widget-driven company. It has an army of sales and marketing people, but the product people call the shots of what happens to the widgets. And their leader, Mark Zuckerberg, is an engineer.

So engineers should be leaders, but they also need to think like leaders. They need to know how to make their widgets "sell-able". They need to know how to market their widgets. Armed with their knowledge of the widgets *and* revenue, I believe that they can turn their companies into formidable organisations.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My memories: September 11, 2001

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I woke up in my room, washed up, changed, ate breakfast, and dragged myself to a boring Computer Science lecture that I was sure I would sleep through. It was just another normal weekday morning for me as an undergraduate in a US university.

I arrived at a lecture hall that was more empty than usual, but I figured that everyone had already realised what a boring lecture this was. Later, when the professor said that he wouldn't mind if what few attendees didn't stay for the lecture, I didn't bat an eyelid.

It was only later when I crossed over to the students' union to get lunch that I realised something was wrong. People were everywhere, standing and talking excitedly. And there were television sets at every corner. I peeped at one…

… and saw the tragedy that was happening in New York city.

While I had gone about my usual morning routine, two airplanes had crashed into the World Trade Center, while another had collided into the Pentagon. Now I knew why everything seemed more abnormal.

The next lecture was for a mass communication class. The professor suspended his usual lecture and let us talk about the tragic event. He also spoke about some political concepts, one of which I still remember: "rally around the flag". That is, during tragic and uncertain times like this, the people were more likely to support the government, no matter who was in power.

The rest of the day was kind of a blur to me. But that evening, a few of us celebrated a friend's birthday at a deserted restaurant. We hadn't thought twice about calling it off. Even back then, we understood: keep calm and carry on.

That event changed one of my morning habits. From then on, every morning, while eating breakfast, I would pore over the news faithfully to see what had happened or was going on.


Saturday, September 07, 2013

One night in Pangaea

Despite living in Singapore, there are still a few places that I never would be able to get to except under extraordinary circumstances. One of these places is the high-end exclusive nightclub, Pangaea, tucked away in the basement of the grandiose Marina Bay Sands.

I'd heard of Pangaea before, but never thought I would be able to get in because of its steep entry fee and rich clientele. But thanks to a colleague, I and a group of colleagues managed to get in. And my colleague turned out to be well connected. We skipped the queue by dropping the name of my colleague's boyfriend. Then, I was momentarily barred from entering because I was dressed too casually in polo T-shirt, jeans and stained sneakers. But again the name-dropping worked.

So there I was, walking through this dark passageway, lit only be neon green lights. After walking one floor up, we entered this misty and dark hall that was the nightclub. The mist was like a fog, but it didn't smell of smoke. Perhaps it was used to add to the allure of mystery there… as if it wasn't dark enough already.

We went to our colleague's boyfriend's table, where a beautiful waitress in a skin-tight red miniskirt dress poured our drinks. Later, I saw her also holding a glass of champagne and toasting other guests, though I noticed that she never drunk from it.

A colleague mentioned that besides the rich clientele, there were also hookers. It was easy to spot them by their cliques and dressing. I saw two of them grinding with two Caucasian men. Another group stood behind our table, perhaps eyeing their next clients. I had no intention of approaching any of them, but even if I did, I doubt that my wallet would satisfy them.

The rest of the night was spent drinking, talking (or what talk we could above the noise) and dancing. There were also some professional dancers in LED costumes, who danced on the tables. That was probably the highlight of the night.

One thing that was curious to me was to see waitresses walking around with bottles of Dom Perignon. Some of these bottles also had sparklers in their mouths. They stopped at some tables, posing for photos, and pouring drinks. Most of the clients looked happy to be able to just pose with the neon-lighted large bottles. I don't think I'll ever understand this brazen worship to the Greek god, Bacchus.

But then, I guess all of this was just something that I would never normally be able to be exposed to. There were probably as many Singaporeans as there are fingers on both of my hands, in the entire hall of hundreds. The patrons were primarily Caucasians, with some well-heeled Asians too. I didn't see any celebrities, but then I was at one corner of the hall anyway, so I couldn't see very far.

I left with my colleagues at about 2am, about two hours after we had arrived. While walking down the staircase, I wondered why there was even a staircase at a nightclub, where the drinkers could potentially slip and fall and cause the nightclub an insurance nightmare. (Yeah, I was sober enough to contemplate that.) Anyway, I made it out safely, away from the strange Pangaea, probably never to set foot in there again.


Thursday, September 05, 2013

My memories: ghost in the school

My whole life, I have never believed in ghosts. I think there is a spiritual world that exists alongside our physical reality, but there are no spirits that appear in ours.

Having said that, I think I saw a ghost once.

This happened when I was in primary school. My school building was in an estate that used to be a cemetery. To house a growing population, that cemetery was removed and replaced with a new housing estate. Some people still believed that the ghosts of the dead still lingered there. But I thought nothing about such superstition.

I was a prefect then. One of my duties was that, at every recess break, I would be stationed at a staircase on the top floor to prevent any one from going back to the classroom. The thinking then was that this would prevent thefts. Being a young boy, I didn't think about whether that was logical or not, I just did as told.

Every day, it was the same routine. I would stand around the staircase, just doing nothing, and waiting for the school bell to ring.

One day, I was just walking up and down the corridor. Then, in the corner of my eye, I saw a shadow dart from the staircase to the opposite corridor! I turned and ran there. But there was no one! I went to the staircase and looked down. There was no one there either.

The bell rang then. I rejoined another prefect who had been stationed at the opposite staircase. I asked him if he had seen anyone. He said no. I didn't say anything further, and thankfully, he didn't pursue my questioning.

So to this day, I still don't believe in ghosts, but I maintain that I had seen one before.


Monday, August 26, 2013

My memories: picking a cherry seed from a cliff

People do dumb things all of the time. But most of the time, you don't realise that you're doing a dumb thing. This was one of those times for me.

I was about seven years old. It was my first holiday to Australia (somewhere in Western Australia). Among the many places that we went to was a mountain. I don't remember too much about that place, except that there was a cliff.

I had been eating cherries that afternoon after lunch. There were a number of cherries in my hand, and as I ate them, I made sure that I kept the seed from each eaten cherry. And so I was happily eating cherries while walking with my family towards a bridge at the cliff.

Just then, a seed fell from my hand! Not wanting to lost any seeds, I calmly walked up to where the seed was. I picked it up, then walked back to rejoin my family.

Little did I know what panic I had caused them! Apparently, the seed had rolled quite near to the edge of the cliff. If I had missed my step, I could have toppled over the edge!

But I didn't realise the danger I had been in. All I had wanted to do was to retrieve my cherry seed.

Years later, my dad recounted the story to some friends, and I was deeply embarrassed. But then he also said that he had purposely made sure that everyone stayed silent while I went to pick up the seed. He had been afraid that if anyone had made any noise, I would be startled and cause an accident.

Fortunately, my guardian angel was watching over me that day, and I am now able to recall that memory here.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My memories: running through the school building

When I was in secondary three, my secondary school moved to a new building. When classes started in January, the campus was still not completed. There was still some bare patches of land awaiting landscaping, and the car park was half finished.

One of the things left unfinished was sealing off inaccessible areas. I know this because during a Scout camp in school, a few of us ventured out at night and discovered a whole new side to this building.

I think this was during the June school holidays. Boys being boys, we were restless about being cooped up in our designated area, when we had the whole school to ourselves. And so when it was around bed time, we went off on our own little adventure. This was before there were security guards in school, so we could run around as long as our teachers-in-charge didn't know what was going on.

It was a tame start, where we simply went from floor to floor to see where all of the different paths and corridors led to. Then, we somehow got into the auditorium. And we went backstage. When we weren't playing a fool around the curtains, we were climbing up and down the rigging.

While climbing through the false roof, we discovered a path to the performing arts centre! And so we had even more time having fun in both of these big halls. We went into the sound rooms, dressing rooms and other rooms. It's too bad that the arts centre's stage floor trapdoor was locked shut, otherwise I can barely imagine what we could have done down there!

The last place we went to that night was the clocktower. There was a staircase that led up to its base, so we walked up to see how far we could go. To our great delight, the door was unlocked! And so we went all the way up the tower, to where the clock's gears were. Of course, we didn't mess with the clock, but we had a great view of the neighbourhood.

That was a night to remember.

A year later, during another camp, I and a few others (not all from the same group) tried to retrace our paths and rediscover the school building. Alas, not only were the doors locked, but there were other barriers to prevent trespassing.

But I still have that night, when I was 15 years old, crawling and climbing through a new school building. That's a thrill that can never be taken from me.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

My memories: Fear of walking downstairs

As people grow older, they usually overcome most of their fears. And for those fears that they overcome, they rarely get afraid of them again.

I wasn't so lucky.

This is a memory from my mid-20s. For some reason, I suddenly became afraid of walking downstairs. It could be at a pedestrian bridge or a building staircase, wide staircase or narrow. My footsteps became shaky when I looked down at the stairs. I had to hold to the railing and walk down slowly, step by step.

Of course, being an adult, I had to pretend that nothing was wrong. And I really had to force myself to believe that nothing was wrong.

So it went on for about half a year. It was very frustrating, but I knew that I had to overcome it. After all, it was an irrational fear. Eventually my fear disappeared. I don't know exactly when it went away. But today, I can walk downstairs normally, and when I do, I wonder how I became afraid again then.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

My memories: Colin's Corner

This is a memory from my 7-year-old days. I was in primary one then.

Every day at recess, most of my classmates would gather at the far corner of the school's basketball court. The court wasn't in use then, and it was more of an open space for groups of students to gather at. I'd join my classmates in chatting and playing. It was the place to hang out during break.

One day, a classmate said that they were going to "Colin's corner" during recess. I didn't know what he was referring to, but it sounded new to me, so I joined them. We ended up walking to that same corner at the basketball court!

I put it all together. I had a classmate named Colin. He came from a well-to-do family, so I guess the other classmates looked up to him. Somehow, he was like a de-facto leader who had organised everyone to be at that basketball corner during recess. So it became to be known as "Colin's corner".

And I didn't realise it till about half a year later… after I had been going there every day!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dream of love and regret

This is what I dreamed last night:


I was a ranking officer in a military camp, maybe captain or slightly higher. With the rank came the privilege of using a private room with a large screen TV for relaxing.

One night, I went to use the room. When I arrived there, I heard some sounds. I discovered three recruits in T-shirts and army pants/boots tied up and sitting on the floor. One of them said that they were there as punishment.

Then a general appeared at the other door. He asked me what I was doing there. I said I was going to watch a late night movie on the TV. He questioned my presence there and appeared agitated.

Later, I learned that the general was corrupt. He wanted to steal a new drug (called "itisim", or something like that) from the medical centre for his own personal use. Apparently, the new drug would enhance his senses and strength.

So he kidnapped the visiting medical officer to help him get the drug. (Apparently there was no medical officer stationed at my camp.) And this medical officer turned out to be my old love, who in my dream looked like Wong Li Lin.

There was no back story about us, but I knew that we had known each other for a long time. And I had strong feelings for her even now.

Of course, no one wanted to cooperate with the general, but somehow, we were all trapped in that private room to do his bidding. In the end, two other soldiers discovered a solution, and I called Li Lin to join us. We were going to pass off a fake drug to the general.

In what can be considered the climax of my dream, Li Lin and I had a quiet moment together. I said to her:

I have many regrets in my life. One of them is that I had not told you earlier that I loved you.

Then, in one of those classic scenes where we're holding hands and our faces are so close to each other that we can almost kiss, I said:

But you're married now, and this is as close as we can get.

In the end, we managed to disarm the general and win the day. Outside, among the spectators, Li Lin reunited with her husband (who looked like my childhood friend from Sunday school) and her two sons. But as she hugged her husband, she and I exchanged an intimate glance.


There was another part of my dream that I initially thought was related to this earlier part, but then probably wasn't.


A new creature had been discovered at the bottom of the ocean. Called a "mazonette", it looked like a spiny starfish. Li Lin had been assigned to join a team that would dive into the ocean for a closer look.

She was packed and ready to leave the medical centre at our military camp. She had a big black bag filled with gear. I had stopped by to bid her goodbye, as if to give ourselves a private moment for a while. Then I simply told her that I will take her bag for her. I picked it up and walked right out to the waiting vehicle. Li Lin was surprised by my gesture but caught up soon.


There was no ending to that second part of my dream.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Installing RVM, Ruby 2, Rails 3, MySQL on OS X 10.8

ALERT! For Ruby on Rails developers only.

FYI this is more for my reference than anything else. Use at your own risk.

My environment:
  • Mac OS X 10.8.3
  • Intel Core i5
  • XCode 4.6.2 with command line tools
As of this blog, after running all commands, you should end up with:
  • RVM 1.20.12
  • Ruby 2.0.0-p195 + default gems
  • Rails 3.2.13 + associated gems
  • MySQL 5.6.11 (64-bit) using mysql2 gem (version 0.3.11)
First, download and install MySQL.
  1. Temporarily allow software installation from anywhere.
    1. Open System Preferences --> Security & Privacy.
    2. Click the lock icon at bottom-left. When prompted, enter your (administrator) password.
    3. Remember your current setting, i.e. "Mac App Store", "Mac App Store and identified developers" or "Anywhere".
    4. If it is not already selected, click the "Anywhere" radio button. Press "Allow From Anywhere" in the popup.
  2. Download MySQL.
    1. In your web browser, go to
    2. Download the latest version of 64-bit MySQL as a DMG (as of this blog, it is "Mac OS X ver. 10.7 (x86, 64-bit), DMG Archive", the rest of the steps will use names based on this version).
  3. Install MySQL.
    1. Double-click the downloaded disk image, "mysql-5.6.11-osx10.7-x86_64.dmg".
    2. Double-click "mysql-5.6.11-osx10.7-x86_64.pkg". Install without any customization.
    3. Double-click "MySQL.prefPane". Install for all users on your computer.
    4. Double-click "MySQLStartupItem.pkg". Install without any customization.
    5. Eject the "mysql-5.6.11-osx10.7-x86_64" disk image.
  4. Restart MySQL.
    1. Open System Preferences --> MySQL.
    2. Press the "Stop MySQL Server" button. Enter your (administrator) password if prompted.
    3. If MySQL Server Instance is still running, you need to shut it down in Terminal.
      1. Open Terminal.
      2. Run this command:
        $ sudo /usr/local/mysql/bin/mysqladmin shutdown
        Enter your (administrator) password if prompted.
    4. Press "Start MySQL Server" button. Enter your (administrator) password if prompted.
  5. Reset software installation permission.
    1. Open System Preferences --> Security & Privacy.
    2. Click the lock icon at bottom-left, if it is still locked. When prompted, enter your (administrator) password.
    3. Under "Allow applications downloaded from", choose your previous setting, i.e. "Mac App Store", "Mac App Store and identified developers" or "Anywhere" radio button.
    4. Close System Preferences.
Now, run all of the following commands in OS X's Terminal.
  1. Start a new Terminal session (start a new tab with Cmd-T).
  2. Update permissions.
    $ sudo chmod o-w /usr/local
  3. Install RVM with stable release of Ruby.
    $ \curl -L | bash -s stable --ruby
  4. Start a new Terminal session (start a new tab with Cmd-T).
  5. Update RVM settings.
    $ source /Users//.rvm/scripts/rvm
    $ rvm requirements
  6. Verify RVM.
    $ type rvm | head -n 1
    rvm is a function
  7. Verify Ruby.
    $ rvm current
    $ ruby -v
    ruby 2.0.0p195 (2013-05-14 revision 40734) [x86_64-darwin12.3.0]
  8. Verify gem directory.
    $ rvm gemdir
  9. Update Rubygem (to be on the safe side).
    $ gem update --system
  10. Install Rails.
    $ gem install rails
  11. Verify Rails.
    $ rails -v
    Rails 3.2.13
  12. Verify GCC.
    $ gcc -v
    Using built-in specs.
    Target: i686-apple-darwin11
    Configured with: /private/var/tmp/llvmgcc42/llvmgcc42-2336.11~28/src/configure --disable-checking --enable-werror --prefix=/Applications/ --mandir=/share/man --enable-languages=c,objc,c++,obj-c++ --program-prefix=llvm- --program-transform-name=/^[cg][^.-]*$/s/$/-4.2/ --with-slibdir=/usr/lib --build=i686-apple-darwin11 --enable-llvm=/private/var/tmp/llvmgcc42/llvmgcc42-2336.11~28/dst-llvmCore/Developer/usr/local --program-prefix=i686-apple-darwin11- --host=x86_64-apple-darwin11 --target=i686-apple-darwin11 --with-gxx-include-dir=/usr/include/c++/4.2.1
    Thread model: posix
    gcc version 4.2.1 (Based on Apple Inc. build 5658) (LLVM build 2336.11.00)
  13. Verify MySQL.
    $ mysql -V
    mysql  Ver 14.14 Distrib 5.5.20, for osx10.6 (i386) using readline 5.1
  14. Symlink MySQL dynamic library.
    $ sudo ln -s /usr/local/mysql/lib/libmysqlclient.18.dylib /usr/lib/libmysqlclient.18.dylib
  15. Update mysql_config. (I use vim as my text editor.)
    $ sudo vim /usr/local/mysql/bin/mysql_config
    1. Go to line 119.
    2. Copy-and-paste lines 119 and 120.
    3. Comment lines 119 and 120.
    4. Line 121: remove -Wno-null-conversion -Wno-unused-private-field
    5. Line 122: remove -Wno-null-conversion -Wno-unused-private-field
    6. So lines 119-122 should now be:
      #cflags="-I$pkgincludedir  -Wall -Wno-null-conversion -Wno-unused-private-field -Os -g -fno-strict-aliasing -DDBUG_OFF -arch x86_64 " #note: end space!
      #cxxflags="-I$pkgincludedir  -Wall -Wno-null-conversion -Wno-unused-private-field -Os -g -fno-strict-aliasing -DDBUG_OFF -arch x86_64 " #note: end space!
      cflags="-I$pkgincludedir  -Wall -Os -g -fno-strict-aliasing -DDBUG_OFF -arch x86_64 " #note: end space!
      cxxflags="-I$pkgincludedir  -Wall -Os -g -fno-strict-aliasing -DDBUG_OFF -arch x86_64 " #note: end space!
    7. Save and exit.
  16. Install mysql2 gem.
    $ sudo env ARCHFLAGS="-arch x86_64" gem install mysql2 -- --with-mysql-dir=/usr/local/mysql --with-mysql-lib=/usr/local/mysql/lib --with-mysql-include=/usr/local/mysql/include
    If mysql2 gem still fails to install:
    1. Uninstall mysql2 gem.
      $ gem uninstall mysql2 -a
    2. Delete MySQL's files and folders.
      $ sudo rm /usr/local/mysql
      $ sudo rm -rf /usr/local/mysql*
      $ sudo rm -rf /Library/StartupItems/MySQLCOM
      $ sudo rm -rf /Library/PreferencePanes/My*
      $ sudo vim /etc/hostconfig
      $ sudo rm -rf /Library/Receipts/mysql*
      $ sudo rm -rf /Library/Receipts/MySQL*
    3. Re-download and re-install MySQL.
    4. Go back to step 14 and continue from there.
Hope that works for you too!